Mount Marathon

MODERATE 56 reviews

Mount Marathon is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Seward, Alaska that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,923 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

muddy

no dogs

6 days ago

First this is not a moderate trail. No way, no how. That said, it is a great hike but not for the feint of heart. Bring walking sticks, gloves and wear ankle high boots for support. We took the skyline up and the runners trail down. Lots of places to fall and break something. The decent is very technical, especially through the creek.

hiking
6 days ago

A tremendous hike that's both challenging, but very rewarding for the physically fit. We took the jeep trail to the hikers trail and it wasn't as difficult as the runner's trail up, which I did last year. It is a great race to watch on tv, but plan to change your underwear after coming too close to the edge more than once, or on the downside part of the scree. If you survive that, the chute with running water and loose rock will make you long for the scree. However, stopping at Seward Brewing for a few cold beers and food are a just reward for conquering this HARD climb. I love it and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the entire region from the summit. You're welcome for the near death experience, Jeff!

hiking
9 days ago

Amazing! We hiked up the hikers trail (not the runners). The middle section (bench trail) was really muddy and tight with vegetation so got pretty wet since it was raining. Where the trail turns left to go up the ridge, we hiked into the bowl instead, following the river, and through a wildflower meadow and up some snow patches and scree piles. Came to a ridge above a little alpine lake there. It was cloudy so we could only see a few of the crags above the bowl, not any mountains across the valley. Really pretty though! I'd definitely hike this again and try to do the actual ridge part of the trail (called the skyline section?) probably would bring sandals too for the muddy parts because my shoes and socks got soaked from hiking through wet plants and mud.

hiking
1 month ago

The fact that the runners can descend the mountain in less than 10 minutes is mind blowing. I just couldn’t wrap my head around how you run through that creek bed. Overall great hike, wonderful views, just wait until you have a nice clear day to do it (you’ll be able to see the ocean).

1 month ago

Heading up -

Jeep Trail starts on 1st. Make sure you look at the map (examine it) at the trailhead before you head up. The Bench Trail comes off the Jeep Trail and follows the creek. Lots of bugs. It goes aways till you hit the ridge and follow the ridge up the Skyline Trail through the slate/scree to the summit, which is marked by a big rock in the Trail.

This hike is moderate. What’s described below is strenuous and should only be undertaken in good weather (ie not when it’s raining).

On the way down you can go down the runners trail, which has two trails after you get off the summit. From the summit, you head through thick scree which is tough to traverse. From there you head through a thicket of wildflower to where the trail splits. TAKE THE RIGHT TRAIL (the scree). The other trail is the “up trail” which is mostly dirt, and can be very muddy when it rains. I made the mistake of taking this trail down bc I didn’t read the sign at the bottom, and spent most of the walk down on my butt.

Still a great hike with great views. I’m scratching my head at how anyone could run this though. Would love to see that.

1 month ago

Holy **** we made it to the summit! Coming down was harder and can get technical if going down stream towards the end. The bowl was beautiful and the view from summit was stunning!

hiking
1 month ago

Starts with a steep incline that will immediately turn around anyone with knee or back problems. Many of the steep inclines are followed by a short leveling out and then start back up. The middle mile or so between the bottom and summit is flatter and right next to a stream and waterfalls here and there. The signage disappears after the first few turns and is nonexistent above 1000ft. We chose a bad weather day. Had very low visibility and the rocks higher up were very slick. For safety and lack of a visible trail ahead we turned back around 2000ft. Still managed to get some breathtaking photos and i’ll be back one day to make it all the way up, right now i’m going to settle for a long ice bath. #rookie

hiking
9 months ago

I went up and down the race trail. It was brutal, only a mile and a half or so , but the incline is so steep that I was literally doing that exercise called "mountain climbers" all the way up. It requires a huge effort just to get 50 feet, and required a rest for me at least in that many feet. Of course, you're not supposed to go up that way anyway, but it was dark when I started so I missed the signage. Anyway, once you're up at the peak (finally) it's really an amazing view. Mountains everywhere, the city of Seward, the ocean with little rocky islands in it, mountain goats, lots of waterfalls going down the mountains, all of this is yours to enjoy. Another thing that is great is that there is absolutely no challenge once you're on the top, except for maybe balancing as you enjoy trotting along the ridge, and short little squabbles up rocks. You can go as far as you want along the ridge until you're really close to the very tall peak of Marathon about 1000 feet up higher, looks like you might need climbing gear for that, I dunno, it looks very imposing either way. So my recommendations are to go up the easier way (there is great signage that tells you everything) or else it will take you like 2 and a half hours. I don't care if the record is like 25 minutes up, unless you're a world class athlete I promise that it will take much much longer.

hiking
11 months ago

My wife and I hiked this trail on Sept 9. Seward had been getting a lot of rain the previous 3 weeks but we had a sunny day and the trail was very muddy.
Starts out moderately steep, gets easy for a while and then gets back to moderately steep at the end. The Mt Marathon Bowl was just beautiful in it's fall colors. WE saw 2 moose and 6 black bears which included a sow with 3 cubs from this spring.

11 months ago

A great hike but super muddy! Didn't make it to the peak due to a black Bear coming down the hill. I decided to go down as well

11 months ago

Took the hikers trail up. Jeep Trail was an easy walk up to the tree line. Bench trail was slightly overgrown, but easy to navigate. Very muddy due to rain, decided to turn around near the top of the Bench Trail as the rain began to pick up and the path steepened. Even with the rain, I still had great view of the bay, would love to go back when it's a little drier!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fabulous end to an evening exploring in Seward. We happened upon the trailhead at about 9p after an active day and a few drinks, decided to go for it without really knowing what we were doing. It took us a couple hours to get to the top and we were completely unprepared for a hike amd for climbimg rock faces in the beginning, haha. Got lost on the way down which made this take about 4 hours for us. The view was amazing, and this is on my list to do again

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Great hike, took the hikers trail up and the runners trail down. Took about 2 hours to reach the summit and maybe about 30-40 minutes down. There are several herd paths along the hikers trail but it seems as if all trails lead up the mountain. There are AMAZING views as soon you get above the tree line almost all the way to the summit. There is large rock near the edge of the mountain with a marker on it and further up the trail is a small cairn. Either way, if you make it this far, you have reached the summit. The runners down is fast and hard on the knees. Once you reach the cliff section it is a bit steep but nothing crazy. The bugs were crazy so bring spray and keep moving.

hiking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hard! Whether you take the runner's trail or the longer hiker's trail, at some point, the trail gets very hard. When you get to the scree, it will seem like you are taking one step back for each one forward. But, this hike is so worth the effort. I took the longer hiker's trail which traversed below the summit, then turned back to the summit while my niece took the harder runner's trail. We were both rewarded with incredible views of Resurrection Bay, the town of Seward and surrounding mountains and glaciers. At one point there was a small aircraft circling overhead as we ascended. The trail starts out in the heavy forested canopy before opening up to incredible views below. Make noise on the trail because there are bear here. It's hard to believe that the runners have completed the Mt. Marathon race in less than 1 hour. It took us about 4 hours and we were moving along nicely. I suggest layered clothing, water and bug dope.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Phenomenal views. Kinda hard to trail run all the way to the top on account of the elevation gain...but one can hurry. Beautiful clear morning with gorgeous unparalleled views. Only fell twice on the way back down and I took the hiking trail. A little rough in places and grown over. Totally Alaska. Don't miss it.

hiking
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

This is an awesome trail . Beautiful views , waterfalls , and lush rainforest . We started north of Monroe st entrance , took 3 hours . Watch the shale on top , on your decent .

Monday, June 26, 2017

Went up about half or two-thirds of the way and stopped a "the Bowl" for a rest and lunch beautiful on Seward-!view side and gorgeous when we got to the bowl. The trail crossed some small snow fields including where the trail went over the stream and you're literally walking on thin ice.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

This terrain was challenging, but with the view!

hiking
Thursday, October 06, 2016

The first mile is nothing special, but once you reach the bowl behind Mt. Marathon itself you'll have great views of Seward and the Kenai Fjords.

hiking
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Awesome hike. Took about four hours. Ive hiked it on cloudy & clear days, and I like the clouds better. It brought out the green in the bay's waters & didn't overexpose any of the pics. Done 4x & will do again

Monday, September 12, 2016

totally worth it! one of the best hikes ive ever been on. i went with some great friends and it was raining and foggy as hell but un unbelievabley gorgeous! illl add a few pics;)

hiking
Saturday, September 03, 2016

Boy this is tough, but such a great experience. The people who race this are amazing.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Enjoyed our first hike in Alaska! A little muddy for the first half, but perfect for the last half up to Race Point. Beautiful views and not too hard of a hike.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lit

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